We like people who take risks as you know. Calculated risks, seeking to improve on an existing way of life, or existing product. Look at our friends at La Fabrica Girona, Amber and Christian who didn’t just use Girona as a pro season base, they moved to Girona and made it home, and their future.
Look at the Meo’s of Rocket Espresso who left behind New Zealand, moved to Italy and established Rocket as the go to home espresso machine. Especially for cyclists!
And our friend Luigi Bergamo of Q36.5 Absolutely Equipment in Bolzano. He has worked, or rather led, one of the leading technological cycling kit manufacturers for many a year. Yet he felt he could do it better. Felt he wanted to do it better, independently. And so he moved back to his home, and his original cycling club’s home, in Bolzano and gave birth to Q36.5.
We visited the studio, or laboratory, in Bolzano on the end of our Dolomites trip recently. Nick had met Luigi before, whilst I had only spoken on email. He was as nice as Nick had said and I imagined from emails. Friendly, affable, generous (dinner was great, best pizza I have had) and knowledgeable and passionate beyond belief about cycling clothing, his products and brand.
The focus of Q36.5 (Q – quaerere; Italian for research. 36.5 – the temperature of a healthy body) is technical perfection in cycling clothing. To maintain that healthy core body temperature, whatever the weather and exertion, throughout the ride. They still have some cool designs, but it’s not a case of pretty first, then whatever fabrics after. Performance leads, and good looking design is then applied. The devil is in the detail, the research and the collaboration with the best Italian fabric producers.
Details like the use of silver thread to help distribute heat through it’s high conductivity and chase that stable temperature. And collaborating, for example, with an Italian brand, world famous for manufacturing the finest handbags, to fine tune their wallet (Smart Protector). All the little things add up to the best kit we have used.
But we knew that. We haven’t made a secret of our thoughts on that. Visiting the lab only added to that thought, but also made me realise that Luigi is not too different from the sort of people we are drawn to. He was as happy to talk about our dreams and about his happiness at being back in Bolzano. The orange details scattered through his collection are from the orange of his original Bolzano cycling kit, which is framed and hangs on the lab wall. As happy to talk about coffee and pizza and our trip to the Dolomites. And, that priceless value, happy to give us time, not rush, and just talk, as friends. Again, it was us who had to peel away, reluctantly, after a lazy afternoon – and dinner, well fed with that pizza.
We use Q36.5 for many reasons. It’s the best. But also, Luigi is a damn fine guy, who does things with passion, the right way.